EDITEDMediaStatement-KimBohnert.docx by BayAreaNewsGroup


									Serra High School Press Statement Regarding the Potential Kim Bohnert Lawsuit

Statement from Serra President Lars Lund

“Last year’s incident was tragic, and the disrespect shown by certain former students did not reflect
what we teach and model here at Serra High School. We felt a deep level of compassion for the teacher.
We immediately contacted the San Mateo Police Department and fully cooperated with them during our
mutual investigations. Six students were expelled. We advised our school community and our school
parents as soon as we became aware of the situation. Two days later, during a mandatory student body
assembly, students were told that the behavior of the students in question was completely inexcusable
and morally reprehensible - it violated the dignity and sacredness of the people involved. We expect
more from our students. As a matter of respect and basic human decency, any type of inappropriate
photography, texting or Internet activity simply is not tolerated at Serra High School.”

Lund further noted that a plan was executed to address the situation and reemphasize the core values of
the school in an attempt to avoid further problems. These included:

    ● All Serra students attended a mandatory special assembly that addressed the situation, outlined
      the legal ramifications of inappropriate texting and Internet activity, and ended with a prayerful
      reflection on the true meaning of our community.
    ● San Mateo Police Lieutenant Dave Peruzzaro detailed the criminal consequences of taking and
      sending inappropriate images.

“The special assembly, as well as the classroom discussions that followed, had a powerful effect on our
community,” Lund added. “Our students were appalled by this incident, and they stood up for Serra's
core values. As you can imagine, it was a challenging time for all of us. It's challenging being a teenager
today. It has always been true that young people often make impulsive decisions without thinking about
the consequences. In addition to the normal stresses associated with adolescence, today's technology
creates new and significant moral hazards for our young people. At Serra, our faculty and staff members
play integral roles in developing young men of character. Now, more than ever, it is important for
teachers and parents to help our students to make thoughtful, ethical decisions.”

Statement from Serra Principal Barry Thornton, Ed.D.

According to Serra Principal Barry Thornton, Ed.D., “During this school year, we have not shied away from
the challenges that our community faced last year. Rather, we reflected on those challenges during
several student educational assemblies as an opportunity to deepen our commitment to our core
educational mission – that of creating men of faith, wisdom, service, community and leadership. The
response of the Serra community – faculty, parents and students – has been nothing short of admirable.”

Commitment to Campus Ministry and Christian Values
Since the incident occurred last May, Serra faculty and staff members have renewed their commitment
to developing ethical young men of integrity. The school’s Campus Ministry program often is referred to
as “the heart of the school.” Programs including the school’s thought-provoking theology classes,
religious retreats, service immersion trips, school Masses, regular opportunities for prayer and
reflection, and local volunteer work enable students to serve others on a regular basis.

“When the incident happened, and in the days since, we have had concern for the teacher and everyone
involved,” said Campus Ministry Director Patrick Vallez-Kelly. “Overall, Campus Ministry’s goal, which has
been part of our school mission and programs for years, is to help these young men who aren’t yet fully
mature to discover the goodness and the voice of God within themselves. Our goal is to walk with them,
even through their mistakes, to realize that they are loved and that they can live lives with integrity that
are faithful and respectful.”

“We are deeply disappointed that some former students disregarded the principles and expectations
that we have taught for years regarding respect for women and all people,” Lund added. “We can only
pray that the school’s swift disciplinary response will be a life lesson that will assist the students involved
as they develop into adults.”

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